Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

Bishop of Barking on refugee settlement: ‘We need a longer lasting commitment from political leaders’

30th Jul 2019

The Right Reverend Peter Hill, the Bishop of Barking, has joined more than 100 faith leaders urging Boris Johnson to make a lasting commitment to welcome refugees.

Bishop Peter has added his name to a letter encouraging the new prime minister to accept at least 10,000 refugees in to the UK each year, including at least 1,000 vulnerable and unaccompanied children from conflict zones and Europe.

Bishop Peter said:

‘With a new UK Government forming new policies this is a crucial moment in our country's political life and engagement for the benefit of the neediest. Brexit is far from the only major issue that confronts us. 

Boris Johnson is offering our country a new start with new hopes and I would want to include child refugees within those possibilities.  While I was glad to hear the recent announcement from Sajid Javid, the previous Home Secretary, that we will take in a further 5000 refugees in 2020 – 21 and from a widened geographical area, not just Syria, we need a longer lasting commitment from political leaders, especially with regard to safe passage for lone child refugees, which is currently lacking. There are tens of thousands of refugee children in great danger spread across Europe, many falling prey to unscrupulous people traffickers. As one of the world's richest countries we need a minimal commitment to take 1000 child refugees into safety and care amongst us annually. The organisation Safe Passage has current commitments from many local authorities to offer homes for 1300 such children but there remains no political will nationally to follow through. Boris is being brave about other issues, this would cost much less and save so many young lives.’


More information


Refugee Ministry in the Diocese of Chelmsford

The Diocese of Chelmsford Community Sponsorship project was Refugee Welcome, Dagenham was launched in 2018. The project is now modelling Community Sponsorship across the diocese

Fr Gareth Jones, Refugee Coordinator for the Diocese of Chelmsford, spoke at Diocesan Synod in November 2018 about Refugee Ministry and Community Sponsorship opportunities in the diocese – watch the video.

Fr Gareth would be pleased to hear from anyone who might be interested in supporting a Refugee Welcome Project in their local area:

Telephone: 020 8478 0546